Deceased - Cadaver Traditions - (8/10)
Published on October 6, 2015
Known as the first signing to Relapse Records and one of the US’s most respected and consistent bands, Deceased has been going strong since their 1985 formation. For the band’s thirtieth anniversary in 2015, two massive compilations were released through Hells Headbangers Records, Demos From the Grave, which is, obviously, a collection of demo tracks, and Cadaver Traditions, which is two CD set featuring fifty-three tracks, fifty-one of which are cover tracks. Actually, the album compiles two of Deceased’s previous covers albums, 2002’s Zombie Hymns and 2004’s Rotten to the Core, and then adds a whole bunch of additional tracks as well as two of the band’s more recent cuts; “The Luck of the Corpse” from the 2012 Decibel flexi-single and “Torn Apart by Werewolves” from 2009’s Worship the Coffin compilation. Deceased has a great history with releasing solid compilations, and Cadaver Traditions continues the trend for King Fowley and crew.
The tracklist shows quite an eclectic selection of songs, but anyone familiar with Deceased’s history should know that the band’s signature sound is a melting point of everything from death metal, thrash, hardcore punk, old school heavy metal, speed metal, and on and on and on. It should really be no surprise that a compilation honoring the band’s biggest influences would cover such a wide swath of heavy metal history (with a few anomalies for good measure). While the band dives headfirst into each track, it’s impressive that, with a few notable exceptions, most of the music sounds like the heavy handed, primitive yet catchy styling of Deceased that fans have come to expect. A few surprises lurk within, like the band’s interesting cover of The Doors’ “Not to Touch the Earth” and the reworking of “The Ballad of Henry Warden” from the My Bloody Valentine soundtrack, but the most part Deceased is on cruse control belting out their favorite tracks.
A couple personal favorites on the album include “Fire in the Sky”, originally by Saxon, “Chemical Warfare”, originally by Slayer and “Stand Up and Shout”, originally by Dio, but honestly this compilation is loaded with gems. From Running Wild to Iron Maiden to Venom to English Dogs to Dead Kennedy’s, Cadaver Traditions really does run the gamut of the band inspiration. The two disc collection covers a lot of ground, and faithful Deceased fans will have heard much of what’s offered here, but the addition of seventeen extra tracks makes this essential for any fan of King’s work. The compilation is full of crunchy guitar riffs, primitively raw and deep growled vocals, that manage to somehow stay comprehensible, and unstoppable rhythm section, that all remain true to the originals yet retain that classic Deceased style. The two original tracks are thrashy and maniacally heavy, sounding more rabid and raw than most of the band’s material since the ’00s started, but still proudly displaying that melting pot of sounds.
Honestly, if you dig Deceased or October 31, King Fowley’s other project, you should pick this up. It really shows the band wearing their inspiration proudly on their sleeve. To those who aren’t too up on their metal and punk history, this track list is a veritable who’s who of top tier acts that have helped shape Deceased, and metal as a whole, into what it is today. Even those who are familiar with the band’s two previous covers albums that are included here will find an album’s worth of new tracks to sink your teeth into. Mandatory madness from Virginia’s masters of metal.